After two days at sea with first-time cruiser John starting to get cabin fever, we come to the first of our cruise stops – Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Megaships turn this sleepy backwater into a thriving Caribbean market town for the first months of the year.
Edmundo has been hankering to get ashore to give the neon shorts he paid a King’s ransom for in Sydney an airing; Jim has his new camera and wants to test more settings; and I took an early tender to the dock on a reconnoitre to check the island’s transportation options.
One look at the thousands of tourists bring disgorged from two megaships that beat us to the dock and we decide to hop a taxi and go straight to Soper’s Hole on the western tip of the island to catch some local colour, and stop for lunch.
On leaving the dock compound, Pablo, our van driver tries to palm us off into his father-in-law’s van. We pile out but on seeing the spare seats are in the ‘back of the bus’ , I refuse and we all get back into Pablo’s van. Not happy, he announces indignantly that he will drive us to Soper’s Hole, but will not accept any money. He drops us and drives off without another word.
Surely his actions could not be interpreted as contempt towards gentlemen tourists?
Lobster fresh from the Caribbean all round. But we’ve come back on board a little peckish, so we’re all meeting for Afternoon Tea with that wonderful stack of finger sandwiches, hot scones and little cakes to go with our Darjeeling..
“Rub-a-dub-dub, four men in a tub . .” fascinates some. When our sweet waitress, Anunciata, asks Jim where our wives are, in his jocular manner, he snappily tells her “women talk too much”. And like a chattering chipmunk, the dear girl kept on with a battery of even more questions while our tea got cold. . . . proving Jim’s point!
I hope you enjoy this first post from the Caribbean. The internet is poor. Others may not be so long.
Click on arrow to start Picasa Web Album Slideshow.